The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT


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Somehow WalMart Is My Friend

My life has not exactly been an acid trip this Summer. No frivolities, no romping around and no glorious feelings of euphoria. That’s a good thing, I suppose, these days with the Opioid crisis going on around me. Whatever happened to just good-old day-tripping????

The hot summer days have been passing me by and the boredom has set in so much so that Nat has to insist that I do something to get out once in awhile. As much as I love living in Ridgeway/Fort Erie there isn’t a whole lot of places you can go to window shop. I walk about the town centre sometimes while waiting for a prescription pick-up at the Pharmacy, but again, only one or two shops that peek my interest and once you’ve done them you have to wait another season to see what’s new.

Unless you travel to Niagara Falls or St. Catharines for special items (ie Costcos, The Bay, Outlet Malls, etc.) the local residents are pretty much obligated to shop at our local WalMart stores (Fort Erie and the supersized one in Niagara Falls). With only two large actual grocery stores (Sobey’s and No Frills) in Fort Erie, it made a huge difference when our WalMart store began selling groceries. At least we now had some choices. In fairness to Ridgeway there is also our local Valu-Mart store owned by Presidents Choice but it’s small and only carries a limited variety of brands and items.

There are shoppers out there that may still scoff at WalMart and it’s cheaper goods, and to them I say – Give It A Chance. When you are forced to shop at this conglomerate on a somewhat regular basis, you become emboldened at how much you can actually find to buy that fits your wants and needs at really good prices. (God, I’m now sounding like a bloody commercial!!!!)

Every once in awhile I have a small list of items to buy – Medicine Cabinet supplies, a salad for supper, printer ink, picture hangers, etc. In olden days I would have had to drive around town to find a Pharmacy, a Grocery store, a Business store and a Hardware store. Now I can do it all in one big store. At this age I, for one, am glad to do so. It saves me time and gas money.

Getting to the gist of my story – I now take my list of items to buy and for an hour or so I am transported to another world where I can walk around looking at tools, kids toys, sporting goods, business supplies and DVDs, children and adult clothing, jewellery, shoes, housewares, computer supplies, cell phone centre, small furniture, crafts, cleaning supplies and grocery. All  in one big swoop.

Now whenever I need a quick pick-me-up, I drive down to WalMart, fulfill my itemized list and have a wander around. I will even admit that I’ve found a few bargains in Women’s Clothing – a couple pair of great walking shorts that feel good on and are inexpensive (my word for ‘cheap’). It behooves me to say, this once “stay away from the cheap clothing” advice has now gone by the wayside. You can actually find some pretty good buys if you look long and hard enough – including the Alia Brand for the older women. This is also a great place for inexpensive house slippers, office supplies, medicine cabinet supplies, groceries, hardware items, games and puzzles, etc.

For an even more grandiose trip, I travel down the road to the Super-Sized Double WalMart across from the former Niagara Square. This is an actual thrill for me as the individual departments are larger than our local store, and you have an even greater choice of inventory in each. This is also where you can find even better deals on casual clothing items where the selections are greater.

So, whenever you’re in Fort Erie or Niagara Falls you can probably find me on any given day walking around in my own little world shopping for items I need, items I don’t need and even wandering around in lost amazement.

Funny how some people get their kicks now-a-days!!

P.S. Another kick I’ve found to be useful – and, believe it or not, at dear hubby’s insistence – is to get a monthly manicure/pedicure. I had them a couple of times but for special occasions. As the years are passing and my body becomes more stubborn in what it can and cannot do, I find having a pedicure very useful. This has now become an impossible task for me. Nat insists I do this as he feels I deserve some special treatment now and again. And so it begins – my adventures of being hand to toe rubbed, scrubbed and painted.

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Days Like That Are Rare

The golf season is officially underway. Saturday saw Nat off to his first golf tournament of the year and as luck would have it, there was another one on Sunday. Knowing it could turn out to be a long, lonely weekend – no van, no money (Egad!!!), I arranged for a day out with dear sis, Bonnie. We had a great time wandering the streets of downtown Ridgeway and browsing a couple of its great little shops, and hitting the antique shops after a bite to eat on the back patio. We both managed to spend very, very little, and that’s saying a lot for the two of us!! Having a day out with Bonnie always perks me up as we always manage to have good conversation and a laugh or two.

After our journeys around Fort Erie and Ridgeway, we joined Nat on the back patio mid-afternoon as he read the paper and we sipped lemonade. With her departure, Nat and I stared at each other wondering what to have for supper – neither one of us had given it a second thought earlier in the day and we were both stumped. With the two of us, if you don’t take something out of the freezer earlier that day, then it’s very difficult for us to come up with some  brilliant “out of the cupboard” idea. We managed to scrounge up some bacon and eggs and with that settled in for the evening. As always, Nat had nodded off in his chair come early evening. He was up by 5:00 AM and he was zonked by 6:00 PM.

Sunday morning was spent doing the usual – laundry and my favourite show – while Nat worked away at his crossword. He was out the door again before noon hour to a benefit golf tournament for Lucas’ baseball team. The tournament last year was such a success, they, naturally, decided to repeat the whole thing this year. Nat enjoys the outing – it’s his yearly chance to have a game of golf with his son-in-law – and it’s always held at one of the premier golf courses in the area where the “locals” can’t always afford to play. With a great buffet lunch, 18 holes of golf and prizes afterward, it makes for a great day that I know Nat looks forward to.

With Nat on the golf course, I settled in for the afternoon hoping to get some more records converted to CDs. Naturally, I was unsuccessful, as I got involved in a movie I had downloaded from iTunes and before I knew it the afternoon was half over. Frost/Nixon was the movie and I enjoyed it immensely. During the Watergate hearings I remember being engrossed as they unfolded on the television. I would try and catch up on the day’s events as soon as I got home from work and for reasons unknown to me, I was captivated. Hence I enjoyed the movie, thought it was well done and there were even fleeting times when Frank Langella actually looked like Nixon. After it was over I knew I should at least get outside and enjoy the “hay while the sun shone”.

Being the perfect afternoon that it was, I had my supper on the back patio and got re-engrossed in a good book – being a political kind of day my book also turns to be on another American political scandal. Do you think there’s a theme going here??? As luck would have it, our little chipmunk friend joined me, munching away at fallen sunflower seeds from the bird feeder. So between my good book and my good buddy we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon peacefully and sometimes in quiet solitude. Days like that are rare but most enjoyable.